Baseball Hitting Skills: Hitting Breaking Balls

See the spin and learn to hit this off-speed pitch with these helpful hitting tips.

Curveballs can be a tricky pitch to handle. Their movement and speed difference from a generic fastball can fool even the best hitters from time to time. This isn’t an excuse, however, to avoid hitting them in batting practice.

Former professional baseball player CJ Beatty says the answer to getting better at hitting breaking balls is simple: see more breaking balls in batting practice.

SEE THE SPIN, SEE RESULTS

Beatty notes that one of the best things you can do as a hitter is to look to hit more curveballs in practice. Have a coach, parent or teammate throw you breaking balls during a portion of your live batting practice. Don’t worry about the speed of the pitch or how much movement it has. “Just seeing the spin on the ball helps you to feel more comfortable as a hitter,” Beatty says.

Facing more curveballs in practice can allow you to get used to waiting on the pitch and driving it when it reaches the strike zone. Identifying spin on the ball can also help you decide whether to swing or not. This knowledge can help you chase less pitches and improve your reaction and confidence at the plate.

Seeing more curveballs can help you control the strike zone this season. Follow these quick tips to restructure your batting practice regimen and put a twist on building your swing.

Be prepared to see a curveball when you’re behind in the count. Follow these hitting Pro Tips and work on your two-strike approach.